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My husband likes to hold my hand when we are walking in public, but I can’t stand it. What should I do?
Perplexed Mrs PR, Tea Gardens
Dear Mrs PR,
We all have individual reactions to PDA (Public Displays of Affection). Hand holding seems pretty low on the list of things that I have witnessed couples doing in public, and quite innocent and cute. We vary in our feelings towards PDA depending on a whole range of things including our upbringing, our cultural differences and our social values. Hand holding could be a sign of your husband protecting you (a bit like walking on the side nearest the road, which is a very honourable and gentlemanly thing to do). It could also be viewed as a sign of ownership (this is my wife, buddy, get your roving eyes off her), which may sit well with you or not, depending on a whole host of things.
My husband likes to hold my hand when we are looking at plants in our garden. I’m not sure whether he is being affectionate, or trying to keep me there long enough to finish the weeding, but I’m not complaining either way. I do, however, find it difficult to hold hands when walking, because we are different heights and he takes one stride to each of my two. Hand holding feels a bit like a three-legged race. The only time I do want to hold his hand in public is when we are in Bunnings because I always seem to lose him. In fact, I would quite like to put him in one of those harnesses that used to be all the rage with frazzled parents so their kids wouldn’t take off in public.
Perhaps you can show your husband affection in another way. A casual rub on the arm or a peck on the cheek now and then should keep him happy. Otherwise, make sure your hands are full, so the option isn’t there.